B Swaminathan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Started in 2008, Ahlan Foodpreneurs, the company that owns the chain of restaurants like Palmshore, Copper Kitchen, Biriyani Mubaarak are likely to launch more than 10 outlets of Palmshore and Copper Kitchen soon across South India. While Palmshore specializes Arabian Mandi, Barbecues and seafood, Copper kitchen is known for South Indian non-veg and Tandoori
KP Siraj Abdul Sathar, Jafar Ali, Sajeer Koyiloth, Shamseer Koyiloth and Sajid Koyiloth are the partners of the company. ChefBharath.com caught up with for a casual chat with Sajid Koyiloth, Founder and Managing Director . He speaks on the market and their expansion plans. Edited excerpts.
ChefBharath.com: Explain the idea behind all these concepts you have?
Sajid:I entered the family business. I am a second generation businessman and we had named the concepts according to the trend, market needs and which is easily liked by the customers.
ChefBharath.com: How did the pandemic treat the hotel business?
Sajid: It was tough. There is a predominant rise of online sale of food products. The revenue sharing by the aggregators are too high and offers are also beyond expectations. However, on the brighter side, quality and hygiene are the two key things every customer looks forward to nowadays. That way, a hotelier maintaining hygiene standards would survive.
ChefBharath.com: Do you see that is the reason we have plenty of start-up companies into the restaurant space?
Sajid: Yeah. But sustaining in the business is very tough. Many people enter the game without gathering complete knowledge of the food business. Small or big, as a owner, one should build the right team and have a perfect system in place. Once that is taken care, the process get automated.
ChefBharath.com: What are the mistakes most hoteliers do according to you:
Sajid: According to me, one mistake which most hoteliers do is diversifying their investments on various aspects. When we are in the business of food, the maximum investment in the restaurant should be for the food. Compromising the quality and taste and investing heavily on ambience, marketing is unnecessary. In fact, high rentals can also be quoted as a failure. We have a centralized kitchen and most of the basic gravvies are made from that. That way, we maintain consistent taste everywhere.
ChefBharath.com: But the current trends have a huge challenge on getting the right manpower.
Sajid: I will not agree on this common opinion. Retaining employees is on two aspects. 1. Building the brand- if we are an established brand, many skilled laborers are ready to work for us. We will get more responses from everyone. 2. Taking care of them- By providing accomodation, being with them on their tougher times and paying them on time are some of the ways we can stay in tact with them.
ChefBharath.com: Is there any other trend which is coming up?
Sajid: Vegetarian menu is increasing in non-veg restaurants. Most of the non-veg-restaurants had 30% of our menu with vegetarian items. The increase in the number of pure-vegetarian eaters starting eating in a non-veg multi-cuisine is increasing. Even though globally the concept of veganism is picking up, it is yet to come up in Chennai. Reduction is cooking at home and increase consumption through online has increased significantly.
ChefBharath.com: What are your expansion plans
Sajid: Till now we were waiting for the right time to expand. Now, we feel we are having the right time to invest. Overall, Ahlan Food Concepts is having plans to introduce new concepts. Our key focus is both Palmshore and Copper Kitchen. Palmshore is our flagship brand with 6 outlets and the plan is to take it to every single South Indian city. Copper Kitchen has 9 outlets across and plans are to take it to smaller cities. On the expansion of ‘Biriyani Mubaarak’ which serves ‘Tamil Muslim’ Biriyani, we are aiming to bring 30 new outlets across Tamil Nadu.
ChefBharath.com: What locations can we anticipate the new outlets?
Sajid: We are launching one outlet of Copper Kitchen in Kozhikode. Soon, we will be launching in Trichy, Thanjavur, Puducherry, Villupuram and more. For Copper Kitchen, we would be wanting to take it to every small town of the state. Global street food is a concept which we intent to bring. Idea to bring a exclusive shawarama brand is also in the pipeline.
ADVERTISEMENT: India’s leading food product manufacturers Masala Chef. www.thillaismasala.com). wishes Ahlan Food Concepts for their expansion plans in South India. For collaborations and samples: +91 7397731654 or https://www.facebook.com/masalachef.in